Hi there! Last time, I briefly introduced the first Niyama, Saucha. In this post I will focus more on Saucha as it relates to our impact on the world.
Saucha is also about our actions. How we show up in the world. The yamas and niyamas overall are about “right action”. Living in the world in a way that causes the least harm to ourselves, each other, and the world itself. In the recent few years, there is more focus than ever on living sustainably.
I grew up in an era where disposable was good. It meant convenience. It made our lives easier. We didn’t realize that the earth would become covered in plastic waste. We didn’t realize that the plastic that we relied on so heavily might contain toxic chemicals. We didn’t realize that we would be cutting down trees to make paper goods that we use once and throw away, many that end up in land-fills. Single-use paper and plastics are everywhere, and it can feel overwhelming. Sometimes we might feel like, there is no impact that one person or one family can make that will make a difference. But even one small change can have a ripple effect.
There is a saying, “when we know better, we do better.” So, now we know better. I’m not going to blame myself or anyone else for the situation we are in, but I am doing what I can to stop contributing to it. A few years ago, many of us started using re-usable grocery bags. They work well and are much stronger than the plastic bags. Some of them are made from recycled plastic bottles.
I started to replace at least some of my other single-use plastics with re-usable food bags and glass containers. I found re-useable food wraps. I began recycling glass jars and bottles. I recycled my kombucha bottles for my home brew. I use jars from pasta sauce to store herbs and spices, or spice mixes that I make, popcorn, or coffee beans. Did you know that you can take your own jar down to Columbia Imports and fill it with your favorite coffee beans rather than getting them in a bag?
After that, I moved on to replacing paper napkins, towels and tissues. Cloth napkins are easy to launder and are softer on your skin. Paper towel replacements can be as simple as an absorbent cotton cloth, or as sophisticated as a special microfiber cloth with embedded silver to prevent smell. I’ve also discovered that cloth hankies feel better on my tender nose than paper tissues, and they wash easily. You can even replace some of your paper tissue in the bathroom!
Next, I really want to try composting, so if you have tips for me to get started, let me know!
I get that all of these things aren’t for everyone, and you don’t have to make everything re-useable, but if everyone chose some re-usable items, we would all be making a difference in our environment. We can all live in the world in a way that causes less harm.
Thanks so much for checking in! In the next post I’ll share some things about Saucha in my daily life as it relates to food as fuel for my body.